Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (Christian Scripture) - MA (CSc)



First Advisor/Committee Member

Bo H. Lim, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Old Testament


Bible Lamentations iii 21-42


Recent scholarship on Lamentations has focused on the voice of Daughter Zion in chapters 1-2. Arguing that the frank protests constitute an antitheodicy, interpreters have placed these poems in opposition to the voice of the man in Lam 3, specifically 3:21-42. This Wisdom-like, paraenetic section is seen to put forth a theodicy, counseling penitent acceptance of God's righteous judgment. The present study argues instead that, when incorporated into the rhetorical movement of Lam 3 as a whole, 3:21-42 instead constitutes an antitheodicy consonant with Lam 1-2. It is proposed that Lamentations manipulates the expected theodicy solution until it has been ironized as an ethically deficient foil, problematizing the facile justifications offered for Jerusalem's plight. This is accomplished through close exegesis of Lam 3 and utilizing Mikhail Bakhtin's concepts of "dialogism" and "double voicing." Theological implications are offered in the final chapter.

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